Mildred E. John
University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Mildred John is a Professor of Nursing with over thirty years experience teaching nurses. Mildred has acquired knowledge, skills and disposition for capacity building and mentoring. She has served as Head of Department, Dean of Faculty and member of the Board of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing, and the current President of the Association of University Nursing programmes in Nigeria. She has 60 publications in reputed journals, has won many awards (professional and social),and has several professional affiliations.
Interprofessional education (IPE) is an important concept of education in the health professions. At the University of Calabar, the IPE model has been implemented for over ten years. Students from different health disciplines have lectures together in the first two years of study, and also attend the same clinical settings for practical experience. This study explored the lived experiences of IPE; and evaluated IPE and collaborative competencies of students. Mixed method design was used to collect data from 180 randomly selected undergraduate students in the penultimate year of education from six health disciplines in the University of Calabar. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University Research Ethics Committee. A validated structured questionnaire, on a five-point Likert-type scale, was used to collect data on competencies for IPE and collaboration. Items were adapted from the modified Readiness for Interprofessional Scale (RIPLS) and Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric. Data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0. Data on students' lived experiences of IPE were obtained through focus group discussion, recorded on audiotapes, and analyzed on NVivo 7.0. Scores on IPE competencies were high for interactive learning, knowledge of roles and responsibilities of other professionals, and respect for different perspectives; but moderate for relationship across professional disciplines. Scores on collaborative competencies were high for teamwork skills, respectful communication; and confidence working with other professionals; but low for recognition of shared leadership within health team. Scores on IPE competencies correlated positively with collaborative competencies (p< 0.001). Successful IPE builds skills and develops healthcare students for future collaborative practice.